Is recognition of Israel’s existence good enough?
Point of View | 32
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw stated that Britain was interested in “normal relations” with Hamas and pointed out that “recognition of Israel did not mean a formal declaration by Hamas, but a practical acceptance of the reality.” (Ha'aretz, 4/20/06).
The Re’ut Institute poses the question: Will Israel be satisfied with Hamas' recognition of the “existence of Israel”?
What is the Issue?
So far, the international community has demanded that Hamas recognize Israel, reaffirm existing agreements and end violence, as a pre-condition for continuing transfer of funds to the Hamas-led government.
The lack of funding to the PA places Hamas in a truly perilous position, and the organization is looking for a way to ease the international pressure.
Statements by Hamas leaders suggest that one of the ways in which the organization is attempting to cope with the international pressure is by recognizing the existing reality of Israel – as differentiated from the right of Israel to exist:
Moussa Abu Marzouq: "Relations with the Jewish state are inevitable as the existence of Israel is a fact", Ha'aretz, 1/26; "There's no doubt that there is a realistic recognition on our part of Israel", Ynet, 2/20;
Dr. Adnan Asfour: "Hamas recognizes Israel's existence as a fact, but it opposes Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian land", Ma'ariv 1/31/06